In our view, values and principles are the foundation upon which our lives, careers and relationships are built. So, we asked folks we admire to open up to us about the values and principles that matter most to them.

Shanna Tingom | Financial Planner, Co-Owner

One of our core values is that we make money FUN! This means that hire people who I enjoy working with, because I know my clients will, too. I take on clients that I like as people, and enjoy taking to0. I want every interaction between my staff and my clients to be fun for both sides. If it stops being fun for either side, it’s not a good fit for either of us. Money and investing can be a very scary thing…especially over the last year since COVID-19 blazed onto the scene! We want those that come into contact with us to walk away saying “that was more fun than I expected!” That helps calm the anxiety and allows both sides to open up more and allows for more important conversations. Read more>>

Taylor Cohen | Musician, Photographer, Artist, Engineer and Skateboarder

I think what I value most is being your truest self no matter the environment, circumstances, or people you are around. When you are genuine you make strong connections with people that can last lifetime. In business this also shows that a real person is running it, there isn’t any facade or falseness. Read more>>

Adriana “Siamés” Escalante | Illustrator & Tattoo Artist

To me, the most important thing is to stay true to myself and to do work that I love. As an illustrator is always a possibility to do low-quality-fast-delivery artwork to get more jobs, but for me, the quality on my artwork is always important. I would rather lose a job offer than to deliver something that is not up to my standards because, at the end of the day, I will end up with something I cannot show in my portfolio and that I didn’t love creating. The process of creating work, getting too involved, loving every step of conceiving something from the concept, to the drafts, the color tests, etc, it’s what makes my life have a meaning and to make me absolutely adore what I do. Illustration is something that I cherish and I would never risk the possibility of hating it. Read more>>

Maria Plata | Creative, Teacher (Spanish), Mother, Highly Sensitive Person

The value that matters most to me is creativity. When I stepped out of the classroom and decided to begin my own business as a Spanish teacher I was going through a bit of figuring out the greatest existential question of “who am I?” I knew that my story of coming here as an immigrant and learning English as a young child mattered. I knew that battling anxiety as a highly sensitive person and new parent mattered. And I knew that as a new business owner, I needed to stay true to who I am. The only problem was that I really had never taken the time to try to figure it all out. I had followed the path that was encouraged for me. To fulfill the American Dream of getting a college degree and a meaningful career. I succeeded and excelled in many ways. Yet, I still found myself questioning this very question in the middle of the night. Maybe it was being in my early thirties or the fact that we wanted to have a second child that allowed my brain to really explore this topic. I felt (and still do many days) that there was more to this life than what I had tapped into. Read more>>

Jamie Killin | Publicist and Journalist

The principle that matters most to me is integrity and a commitment to my values – the top ones being honesty and kindness. When I’m faced with difficult times or big decisions, I’m able to act with integrity by deciding how to move forward with as much honesty and kindness as possible. It also helps me to know that even if I make a mistake, or face a setback, if I know I was acting in integrity I was doing the best I could. Read more>>

Cheryl Heller | Director, MS Innovation and Venture Development, Arizona State University, Director of Design Integration, Professor of Practice, Innovation Design.

Two values matter most to me, in myself, and in partners and colleagues. The first is to have a purpose that’s bigger than any single person’s agenda. Something worth doing, worth devoting time and energy toward, that inspires people to work past 5 or think deeply or have the patience to overcome all the barriers and inconveniences that inevitably arise along the way. I don’t work well with people who don’t share a goal of doing the absolute best they can, or making something as good as it can be. The second value or principle is keeping one’s word, doing what we say we’re going to do, even when it’s inconvenient. These two values are connected, because it takes both of them to accomplish things that change the status quo and that actually create beneficial change. My husband likes the expression that cowboys used, of “throwing in” with someone. It means you agree to go on a journey with someone and no matter what comes up, you are in it together. I think that’s what makes great teams and what helps us truly create. Read more>>

Hannah Whitaker | Printmaker, Deweler, Multimedia Artist.

In terms of my creative practice the values I most often reflect on are waste reduction and rawness. It’s important, as a multimedia artist, that I am conscious of where my materials come from. In this I often challenge what is traditionally seen as waste, reusing discarded materials and decay as vehicles of expression. This is where rawness comes in. I find letting the discarded speak for itself as a practice of honesty. Finding the beauty in objects once forgotten I see my adornments and other creations as a reflection of myself and these values. Read more>>